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View Full Version : Can't initialize hard disk on ancient machine


Andy G
Dec 2, 2005, 07:35 AM
I have an old beige G3 desktop, which kids use for games. Recently, it stopped working. To cut a long story short, I have been trying to re-install the system software (8.01), but get a message something like "cannot update Apple HD drivers" after a few minutes.

I have checked the disk with Techtool Pro, and everything appears OK.

Nothing important on it, so I wiped the hard disk with Techtool Pro and formatted it as extended, but software would not install. I wiped it again, formatted as standard, then tried Apple Disk Utility to format, but it just gives me the spinning wheel (6 hours)

Any clues anyone?

It starts up fine from the Apple CD, and Techtool. I even have an old copy of the system backed up. Can I dump this onto the HD icon of the G3 via ethernet connected to my G4 titanium, and would this work? Could the installer CD be the problem? It is fairly scratched.

The G3 has no firewire / USB

Yes, I know I should forget it, and have already bought a MacMini, but this machine was always a good workhorse and I don't wan't to let it die.

Finally, as a thought, can I install Tiger on it? If so, with no DVD drive, how can this be done? I do have other new machines which could hook via Ethernet.


Thanks,

Andy G

Thoughts please?

MisterMe
Dec 2, 2005, 08:42 AM
I have an old beige G3 desktop, which kids use for games. Recently, it stopped working. To cut a long story short, I have been trying to re-install the system software (8.01), but get a message something like "cannot update Apple HD drivers" after a few minutes.

I have checked the disk with Techtool Pro, and everything appears OK.

Nothing important on it, so I wiped the hard disk with Techtool Pro and formatted it as extended, but software would not install. I wiped it again, formatted as standard, then tried Apple Disk Utility to format, but it just gives me the spinning wheel (6 hours)

Any clues anyone?

...In order to get clues, you have to give clues. Which version of Apple Disk Utility are you using? From which media? It seems that somewhere along the way, you tried to restore MacOS 8.0, which does not support HFS+ (aka HFS Extended), only HFS. To support HFS+, you need at least MacOS 8.1. However, I strongly recommend MacOS 9.2, if you have enough RAM to support it.

Lord Blackadder
Dec 2, 2005, 09:00 AM
I belive the "cannot update Apple HD drivers" message indicates that your install CD is attempting to replace existing drivers with older versions.

I recommend obtaining an OS 9.x.x install CD and updating as needed until you are at OS 9.2. You should also update your firmware. If you can't format the HD with an OS 9 install disc than you may have hardware issues.

Andy G
Dec 2, 2005, 09:13 AM
The original install disk, which I have for this machine, has system 8.0, and I would be happy just to get that running. Disk utility is the version on this same install disk, although I don't have the actual version reference at the moment.

I do recall hitting the extended format issue in the past when trying to upgrade to 8.1 and beyond, however, at the time reformatting the whole disk was not an option for many reasons, although now I would be happy to do so.

Using Techtool Pro I did manage to reformat the disk as extended, however, my install disk version OS8.0 didn't like it, so I reformatted back to standard. Unfortunately, OS8 still won't install.

I don't have OS9 on a disk, and don't really want to spend too much on this machine, so was keen to work with what I have. I do have OS9 install disks for an iMac and G3 Pismo Powerbook, but they won't allow me to install from these.

I think I have around 300 mb of actual ram, and also ram doubler, and would consider increasing if I thought it would help.


Any further thoughts?

Thanks,

Andy G

Andy G
Dec 2, 2005, 09:21 AM
Sorry Blackadder, our posts crossed.

I presume I should go for the extended format if I manage to get an OS9.xx
installer disk. Any thoughts as to cheap sources of these? I'd rather not spend 90 on such an old machine.

As I mentioned, I will be really happy just getting the old girl back on her feet, far less making her dance!

Regards,

Andy

belvdr
Dec 2, 2005, 09:40 AM
I am no good at the older Mac OS systems. However, I wanted to throw out this link, in hopes that it will help you find the software you need.

http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/Macintosh/System/

Lord Blackadder
Dec 2, 2005, 10:10 AM
A couple answers to your original questions -

Yes, you can theoretically put Tiger on it, though it will struggle with just 300MB of memory. There is no CD install disc available for Tiger so you would have to do a network install, and the original hard disk in Beige G3's is on the small side of what is acceptable for decent performance in OS X. If you wish to go with OSX you are better off with Jaguar or perhaps Panther, and a bigger HD. My dad has a clamshell iBook 300MHz/128MB RAM/3GB HD and it is functional but slow in OS X.

But in order to get OS X running you'll need to update the firmware, which requires a working computer....

The HD may be corrupted and require repair - I use Disk Warrior, but TechTool has some of the same basic utilities for repair. However, if TechTool is formatting the drive it obviously thinks that it is OK, even though the OS install CD doesn't.